7:59 PM: South Carolina politics is a richly interesting combination of fierce injunctions to biblical fundamentalism and coverage of which elected official is copulating with what other big wig or potentate in the back seat of what car. And then there’s which politician is gay. There’s also the episodic embrace of treason and efforts to break up the union. Together, it’s a lot.
8:05 PM: Feel like the pressures of multiple simultaneous sex scandals has gotten Herman Cain to expand his policy agenda beyond 999. Also, he seems to have ruled out military action.
8:07 PM: Meta-win. Mitt stands down Scott Pelley as a meta-signal that he can stand down Iran.
8:10 PM: Newt is insisting that Obama should be doing all the things he’s already doing against Iran — covert disruption, offing scientists, working in concert with Israel, etc.
8:12 PM: He did it! Perry gets through a completely coherent, non-stuttering answer. I can hear his consultants cheering up here in New York … Actually Eric Kleefeld points out that Perry only really crashes in the second half.
8:18 PM: Quite apart from his policy prescription, Jon Huntsman just sounds so much more rational and forward-looking, serious about thinking about the country’s real challenges in the coming decades than anyone else up there.